However, the 3D offer is only a fishing rod, which is designed from a distance and is meant to awaken the customer’s desire for a real visit to the factory
Currently, the second generation of virtual showrooms is also being used in the natural stone industry. We had described in a report the “Metaverse“ of the Turkish company Alimoğlu, where the customer no longer remains in front of the screen and zooms through an image of the real presentation as before but enters the virtual world with an avatar and can do certain things there. The German company Draenert has developed a less elaborate form: there, a virtual world is not spread out in front of the customer, but the interaction between salesperson and customer is possible, in that digital tours can be organized.
The “360-degree virtual tour” is based on the familiar principle of moving through an animation with the mouse: the viewing angle can be varied, and individual objects can be examined more closely.
However, Draenert has two special features that make his virtual tour stand out from the rest.
Firstly, there are virtual tours, not just tours on one’s own: for this, the visitor or a group makes an appointment with a salesperson who takes them through the showroom. This is similar to the meetings at Zoom, for example, albeit without downloading software, but simply at the invitation of the salesperson.
The virtual tour simulates a real visit to the showroom: the salesperson walks in front virtually, and the others are there from his or her perspective. Inquiries or the like are possible via the acoustic connection. “We can bring our product range to life for our customers around the world at any time,“ says Anette Pfeifer, the company’s press officer.
This is where the 2nd special feature of Draenert’s virtual showroom comes into play: because one of the company’s trademarks is the sophisticated mechanics with which its furniture is equipped. Famous, for example, are their extending tables that, despite the weight of the stone tabletops, move effortlessly as if by magic. Another example is a table that can be moved and fixed without having to crawl on the floor.
These products need to be demonstrated, not just shown. To do this, Draenert has integrated movie scenes into its virtual showroom: the location of these objects is shown on the overview at the top right of the screen, and if you click on the thick dots (the so-called “Hot Spots”), the piece of furniture is shown up close with a virtual arrow over it. If you click on it, a short video will be played.
What’s important here, as always in the virtual world: everything is embedded in the respective situation, so you don’t have to switch back and forth between different levels.
In addition: Draenert has reduced the amount of data in its virtual world (and the game scenes in it) very much: for example, the surfaces of the pieces of furniture have been left unmistakably artificial.
The company uses the virtual world to animate desire for a visit to the company site. There, the salespeople have real experiences in store, such as a visit to the workshop next to the real showroom or to the stone warehouse. the virtual world to animate desire for a visit to the company site. There, the salespeople have real experiences in store, such as a visit to the workshop next to the real showroom or to the stone warehouse.